First, M.T. Anderson's Thirsty, from 1997. Look at the difference updated cover art can make. What were they thinking in the 90's? (Cover on right.) I am conflicted about this book. Chris finds out that he is becoming a vampire, and he knows that his society dispatches known vampires quickly and in public with a stake through the heart. He doesn't want to drink blood, so when he is approached to help defeat the vampire lord and save the world, he agrees, but things don't go smoothly. This is a good vampire tale, but a bit old. The language is mild, but there is a lot of it, and there is also a fair amount of drinking and partying. What do other middle school librarians think? Is this a title that you have and your students like?
Later: Of course, going through the day, I did have several students who would have adored Thirsty and been okay with anything marginally objectionable. I did add it to my list.
Otherworldlies, by Jennifer Anne Kogler, was good but confusing. First, the cover art makes it look older and more romantic, and this is certainly something that 6th graders who really don't need to be reading Twilight could pick up. Fern has a lot more problems than her twin brother Sam-- her allergy to the sun, extreme shyness and general social dysfunction make her the target of school bullies. Then, she disappears one day in class and starts to draw the attention of creepy neighbors, a concerned classmate, and all sorts of others. The vampire stuff in this book emerges slowly and is quite different-- there are Greek mythology connections that were a little odd. I liked Fern, I liked the setting. My biggest concern is that readers will expect something different.
Also picked up the story collection Does This Book Make Me Look Fat? It was an interesting read, but again, more of a high school book. Various young adult authors have stories or memoirs about their problems with body image, whether it be too heavy or too light. The interest in eating disorder books seems to have waned in my library. There is a nice bibilography of books concerning body image topics in the back. A worthy buy if you think there is an interest.